As importers, our team at Farah Trading Co is split between the US and Portugal - with lots of travel in between. While we are always on the lookout for new, exciting foods from Portugal to import into the US, there are also some must-have foods we never miss when our US based team is visiting Portugal!
From the cheese of Serra da Estrela to the alheira sausage, which is irresistible, food in Portugal is rich in flavor and history. In this post we cover our top traditional staple foods found across Portugal as well as foods from Portugal's Algarve region.
A lunch at one of our favorite producer's wineries - Quinta do Tedo in the Douro Valley!
Here are our absolute must have traditional staple foods when visiting Portugal:
Each region of Portugal has its own regional food, ranging from petisco appetizers, to regional cheeses, to main dishes, making discovering Portuguese food an endeavor that could take a lifetime. Here are some staples that can be found from the north to the south.
- MEIA DE LEITE = café au lait (Portuguese coffee is comparable if not superior to Italian!)
- RISSOIS = fried pillowy pockets of leitão (baby pig), legumes (vegetables) or camarão (shrimp - Farah’s favorite!); ask for them served quente (hot) in bakeries and traditional restaurants
- AÇORDA = hearty and flavorful bread stew; try the seafood version açorda de marisco
- ALHEIRA = sausage made of bread, poultry and garlic to resemble pork sausages so the Jewish diaspora could hide their identity from persecution since the late 16th century
- PASTEL DE FEIJÃO = sweet bean pastry
- TARTE DE AMÊNDOA = buttery almond tart and broa de mel = dense cookie made of carob, spices, nuts and honey; these traditional sweets worth branching out from the infallible cinnamon-sprinkled Portuguese pastel de nata!
- ZAMBURIÑAS = small scallops
- PERCEBES = goose barnacles
- NAVALHAS = razor clams; these are Portuguese seafood staples to try along with ...
- BACALHAU COM BROA = Farah’s favourite of Portugal’s 365 cod recipes, encrusted in corn bread
- POLVO A LAGAREIRO - tender, braised octopus seasoned with lots of garlic and olive oil; remember, one portion of food in traditional Portuguese restaurants can usually serve two!
- SOPA DO DIA = soup of the day served with lunch in traditional restaurants; caldo verde is Farah’s favorite!
- MELÃO = ripe honeydew melon served by the slice for a fresh summer dessert
- BORA DE AVINTES, MILHO and PÃO D'ÁGUA, PÃO DE CENTEIO = carob, corn, white, whole wheat flour breads
- QUEIJO DA SERRA = thistle-cured mountain sheep cheese
- QUEIJO DE CABRA APIMENTADA, REQUEIJÃO = spice-rubbed goat cheese, fresh ricotta-like cheese enjoy it with ...
- MARMELADA = quince paste for dessert!